Chrysanthemum Flower Tea
Brew using boiling water and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes
Known for its sheer beauty when found in the wild and in gardens across the world, the chrysanthemum flower is so much more than just a plant. While it may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind while ‘brewing up’ a cup of tea, this flower has, in fact, been used and enjoyed in beverage form for many centuries.
Our very own Chrysanthemum Flower Tea originates from the Chrysanthemum morifolium variety. This is arguably the most popular, and perhaps most beneficial of all the many types of Chrysanthemum plant. It has been proven to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and even improve vision when consumed as part of a healthy and active lifestyle.
It is also widely recognised in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and has long since been celebrated in the far east through many prestigious festivals. Choosing Chrysanthemum Flower Tea is not only good for your health, but likewise great for your taste buds. Enjoy unmistakably floral flavours as you unwind with a nice, hot cup of this herbal tea following a long, hard day at work.
Also known as ‘Ju Hau’ in Mandarin Chinese, the Chrysanthemum Morifolium has been harvested for its use in herbal teas since, at least, the Song Dynasty. In China, in particular, there are many different types of Chrysanthemum Tea, such as Huángshān-gòngjú (黄山贡菊), which literally means ‘yellow mountain tribute chrysanthemum’, or Hángbáijú (杭白菊), which originates from Tongxiang, near Hangzhou. There is also Chújú (滁菊) from the Chuzhou district and Bójú (亳菊) from the Bozhou district of the Anhui Province.
In total, there is thought to be 17 different species of Chrysanthemum found in China, which has been cultivating the flower for thousands of years. According to the age-old practice of TCM, 4 species are used for medicinal purposes, while two are commonly used in herbal teas.
These are Chrysanthemum Indicum and, of course, Chrysanthemum Morifolium. Predominantly, these species are grown in the Anhui, Gansu, Henan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, and Zhejiang Provinces. However, it is likewise a notably versatile plant, and can now be found growing in great abundance around the world.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has long since recognised chrysanthemum’s ability to treat symptoms of cold and flu, as well as dispersing wind and heat, clearing “liver fire”, promoting vision, and offering relief from dizziness and skin sores. Interestingly, it has also been associated with longevity.
This is because of the fascinating life of Empress Dowager and Regent Cixi (1835-1908), who outlived the eight emperors who had preceded her by many years. She would live to be 72-years-old, and was able to maintain a ‘young-looking’ appearance well into her later years after maintaining a predominantly herbal based diet throughout most of her life. One of her favourites, in particular, was that of a chrysanthemum ‘longevity’ jelly, which she enjoyed on a daily basis until the day she died.
According to the lunar calendar, the ninth day of the ninth month (which, in the Gregorian calendar, typically falls on a day in October) sees the chrysanthemum flower highly revered in much of China as part of the Chongyang Festival (also known as the ‘Double Ninth Festival’). This festival largely celebrates the prospect of disaster preparedness, and has a truly enchanting origin story closely tied to the consumption of any chrysanthemum-based drink.
This tale refers to a young man named Huan Jing, who lived in a village near the Ru River in the Henan Province. One fateful day, his village suffered from a great plague brought by a demon living in the nearby waters. Huan tragically lost his parents to the horrid disease, and in his anger, he decided to seek help from an immortal sage to find out how to kill the beast. Making a perilous journey with many unforeseen obstacles, Huan was finally confronted by the sage who, in turn, taught him how to fight the demon. The sage then informed the young man that the monster would return to the village waters on the ninth day of the ninth month time was of the essence.
Huan returned home and instructed his fellow villagers to climb up a nearby mountain, bringing with them dogwood leaves and chrysanthemum liquor. As the monster emerged from the water, the scent of the plants and the chrysanthemum wine or tea made the creature dizzy. Huan was able to kill the beast with a single strike from his sword, thus saving the village from the evil and unforgiving plague.
Today, enjoying chrysanthemum wine or tea, along with climbing a mountain, are two popular ways to celebrate the Double Ninth Festival, which typically coincides with the flower’s full blooming season between September and November. Drinking chrysanthemum is now regarded as a way to ward off disasters, as well as being the key to longevity!
Type of Tea: Herbal Tea.
Ingredients: Dried Chrysanthemum Flowers.
Brewing Instructions: Brew using freshly boiled water and infuse for 5 to 10 minutes.
How to Serve: Honey or lemon may both be considered with this beverage, although it is best served as it is.
Tasting Notes: Grassy, earthy, and floral notes are prominent in both flavour and aroma. Slightly sweet undertones may also be tasted, followed by a refreshing aftertaste.
Colour in Cup: Pale yellow liquor, light in tone.
Health Benefits of Chrysanthemum Tea: Chrysanthemum Flower Tea contains high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including Vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, choline, folic acid, magnesium, niacin, potassium, and riboflavin. Combined, these incredible organic components have the potential to improve your everyday way of life.
For example, the Vitamin A found in this herbal tea, in particular, has shared closed links with eye health for many years. It is believed to protect against cataracts, macular degeneration, retinal neuropathy and other eye-related conditions. The Vitamin C, meanwhile, is unmatched in stimulating the production of white blood cells which, in turn, help to boost the immune system. Further to this, clinical research has indicated that Chrysanthemum Flower Tea may have the ability to ease tension from headache pain, remedy bad breath, and soothe dry mouths or throats.
Health PointsAnti Oxidants, Detox, Hydration, Refreshing, Weight Loss
Caffeine LevelDecaff (none)
Time of DayBreakfast, Evening